Treasure: Going for The Gold

Going for The Gold

Three tons of gold bars, nuggets, bullion and rare coins from the California goldfields were lost in 1857, when the steamship Central America sank in a hurricane off the Carolinas. Now this lost treasure, confirmed 18 months ago and worth up to $1 billion today, is in the eye of another hurricane, this time in a Norfolk, Va., courtroom.

Finders keepers, says the Columbus-America Discovery Group, which won exclusive salvage rights in federal court last year through the arcane principle of "tele-possession" because its unmanned robot, equipped with cameras and mechanical arms, can operate in waters too deep for divers. But...

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